Demodectic mange in cats, is it really possible? The answer is yes, and although it is not very common in cats, it can and does affect them.
There are certain breeds that are much more at risk than other, as well as certain classifications.
mange is also known by another name, red mange, and there are some very starting facts about this very infectious disease in cats.
If your cat has had any history at all with corticosteroids, there has been a lot of speculation that it may be a predisposing factor in your pet contracting this very nasty skin condition.
However, there is one very important fact for all owners to consider with Demodectic mange in cats; if is not identified and then quickly treated, it can very easily be fatal.
Demodectic mange in cats is caused by a mite referred to as Demodex which comes in two different forms in this type of mange.
One of the forms lives in your cats hair particles, while the other form lives in the outer layer of their skin.
There are also two different types of this infection; localized as well as generalized.
Both types are extremely contagious and if the mites are left unchecked, they can multiply to extremely high numbers.
Once they have multiplied, they can cause severe inflammation of your cat’s skin as they burrow into the skin and suck your cat’s blood.
If the numbers are large enough, demodectic mange can also cause your cat to develop allergic reactions.
The localized form of this attack on your cat is by far the most common, and it can cause ear problems as well as scaly skin on several parts of their upper body, primarily around their neck and head.
The generalized form of this disease will affect the main portion of your cat’s body, including their legs.
However, while not as common, the generalized form is considered much more dangerous.
If it is the generalized form it is often the result of an underlying disease that is triggering it.
The underlying disease is affecting your cat’s immune system and there are several diseases that are linked as the potential trigger.
As a result of this, your veterinarian will immediately test your cat for Feline Leukemia, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, and well as Diabetes.
Demodectic mange in cats seems to target two particular breeds; however, it is important to understand that this disease can and does affect all breeds at any age.
The two most affected breeds are Burmese and Siamese, but there is no known reason why they are affected in such higher numbers than other breeds.
However, there are also others classifications of cats that are at a much higher risk of this disease.
They include any cat that lives primarily outdoors, cats that roam, especially in wooden areas and fields, as well as older cats.
Cats that have any type of a weaken immune system are also a much higher risk than a healthy cat, as well as pregnant and lactating cats.
Male cats that have not been neutered are also at a much higher risk than the general cat population.
Demodectic mange in cats will show you a complete litany of symptoms, however, there is one symptom that will appear very quickly and affect cats with either form.
These include discolorations on or around your cat’s nose as well as the edges of their ears, and are almost always a reddish brown color.
Even if it the more dangerous generalized form, the disease usually starts with this symptom.
From here, if it is localized, it will move on to attack your cat’s ears and they will become very crusty or scaly.
However, in some cases it may be both, depending on the actual amount of the mite population that is attacking your cat.
Once these early signs appear, check the inside of your cat’s ears. If they are black in color and have very oily looking dirt in them, this is the next sign that your cat had developed demodectic mange.
However, this is not really dirt, but rather the actual droppings of the mites.
It also does one other thing to their ears; it causes a discharge.
However, this is just the beginning of the symptoms; as your cat will than start to develop both scabs and crusts on their head and neck area.
These lesions will be very easy to spot as they will quickly become inflamed as well as extremely irritating to your cat.
By now your cat is in a lot of pain and their skin is becoming extremely itching as the result of Demodectic mange in cats.
Once it has reached this stage, two other symptoms are about to occur.
The first is a bloody discharge from the lesions that is quickly followed by an extremely foul odor.
If it is the generalized form, it does not attack your cat’s neck and head area nearly as much, but instead the attack is aimed at your cat’s general body including their legs.
The lesions will be the same, but with this form it also affects your cat’s skin and hair. Your cat’s fur will start to become extremely thin is places and will start to fall out.
Once the skin is exposed, it places your cat at risk for several other types of infections.
As this attack is advancing, your cat is now in so much pain that they will become lethargic, and as a result, quit eating and drinking.
Dehydration can also develop very easily with this wicked attack, as well as a very rapid weight loss.
There are some bright spots with Demodectic mange in cats, it has some very effective treatments and it is very easy to identify.
However, if it is not dealt with very rapidly, it can very easily take your cats life.
It will also have two other very important components; your veterinarian must identify the mite and they must treat it. This is not a condition that you can treat on your own.
If it is the localized form, your veterinarian will treat it with a topical rotenone solution or Ivermectin tablets.
In most parts of the world these are not approved for use in cats, but if given by a profession, they are very effective.
Lime sulfur dips are also extremely effective, however there is one word of caution, they can make your cat very ill for a short period of time.
If it is the generalized form, before your veterinarian does any type of treatment, they will have to rule out the potential underlying diseases that may have triggered it.
The main reason for this is that if the underlying disease is treated, in most cases the lesion may go away on their own.
This is an extremely contagious disease, and if you have a multi-cat household, all of your cats will have to be treated.
Demodectic mange in cats is not common, but it can and does occur.
However, there is no risk at all with your cat spreading this disease to you as the mites that cause this disease affect only a particular host.
The mite that affects cats can not affect humans.
Because it can be fatal if not treated, the earlier that you can catch the symptoms the better chance you cat has at a full recovery.